?/bfc/^"V The Ramabai dissociation Import of the Annual ^Meeting held ZMarcb u, i8g^. REPORT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF The Ramabai Association HELD MARCH 11, 189? BOSTON PRESS OF GEO. H. ELLIS, I4I FRANKLIN STREET 1895 i OFFICERS FOR 1895. President. Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, D.D. Vice-Presidents. Rev. E. W. DONALD, D.D. Rev. EDWARD E. HALE, D.D. Miss FRANCES E. WILLARD. Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. Rev. GEORGE A. GORDON. Mrs. J. S. COPLEY GREENE. Board of Trustees. Hon. ALEXANDER H. RICE, Chairman. Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. Hon. JOHN D. LONG. Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Mr. ALPHEUS H. HARDY. Miss ELLEN MASON. Mr. EUGENE B. HAGAR. Mr. CLEMENT W. ANDREWS, Secretary. Treasurer. Mr. E. HAYWARD FERRY, 222 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass Executive Committee. Mrs. J. W. ANDREWS, Chairman, 36 Rutland Square, Boston. Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Miss HANNAH A. ADAM. Mrs. A. HAMILTON. Mrs. GEORGE A. GORDON. Mrs. B. F. CALEF. Mrs. HAMILTON A. HILL. Mrs. ELLIOTT RUSSELL. Mrs. GEORGE N. DANA. Miss S. G. ANDREWS. Mrs. E. E. MARFAN. Mrs. W. C. WILLIAMSON. Recording Secretary. Miss ANNIE G. KELLY, Channing Street, Cambridge. Corresponding Secretary. Miss A. P. GRANGER, Canandaigua, N.Y. Principal of Sharada Sadan. PUNDITA RAMABAI DONGRE MEDHAYI, Poona, India. RAMABAI ASSOCIATION. The Ramabai Association held its Seventh Annual Meet- ing in the vestry of the New Old South Church in Boston on the nth of March, 1895. The President, Rev. Lyman Abbott, D.D., opened the meeting with prayer, the audience joining in the Lord's Prayer at the close. The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. The President then spoke as follows : — I am sure that we shall all agree that Christianity stands for something definite. Probably we should disagree a little if we undertook to give the definition. For my own part, I am sure that it stands for more than any ritual, any creed, or any organized church. I am sure that it means more of truth than any of our creeds contain, that it means more of the spirit of reverence and devotion than any or all of our rituals contain, and that it means more of activity and light than any of our ecclesiastical organizations can possibly incarnate. But, whatever else it may stand for, it stands at least for the idea of redemption, for the truth and the fact of redemption. It stands for that truth that God himself loves his children, and is redeeming them, lifting them up, cleansing, purifying, developing, educating, saving them. It stands for the truth that God is some- thing more than a righteous person, who demands righteous- ness, — that was Mosaism, — but that he is also a redeeming person, inspiring the hearts of his children with his own tenderness, patience, courage, and love. I will not say that is Christianity, as though I were assuming to define it ; but, at least, Christianity is that. That God is in his world ; that wherever there is sin and suffering and trouble there God comes that he may wipe away the tears from his children's eyes, that he may cleanse them of their iniquity, that he may lift them out of their servitude and their ignorance and their weakness, that he may make of every community a real kingdom of God, that he may make the family the family of God, that he may make men pure, that he may make women free from the bondage by which they have been bound, that he may take children in his arms and bless them as Christ took them in his arms and blessed them when he was upon earth ; that he is still in the world to-day as he was in Jesus Christ eighteen hundred years ago, and doing the same work in the world in the same spirit, — I am sure we shall all agree that Christianity at least means this. And, believing this, I am sure we shall all wish to let others know of our faith. We shall wish to let those who as yet have no idea of God at all, or who have the idea of God as an impassive and unknown abstraction, or the idea of God as hateful and vindictive, as a great many people have, or the idea of God as a mere lawgiver who exacts righteousness without conferring upon people the power to come up to the ideals and standards which he puts before them, — I am sure we shall wish to let such people know something of the faith which we have in a re- deeming God, of the hope which he has inspired in our own hearts, and of the love which he has awakened in us for him, for one another, and for all mankind as his children. There are two ways in which we may do this. We may do this by telling them that God is a redeeming God, or we may show them this by getting something of this love in our own hearts and carrying it to them. And, if we indeed be- lieve that "actions speak louder than words," we shall not disesteem the first method, but we shall more highly esteem the second. We shall think that we are really doing more to proclaim God a redeeming God by having redeeming love 5 in our own hearts and showing it in our own lives, than we do by preaching it in pulpits, or writing it in tracts or religious newspapers. Perhaps you will not think I mean to speak slightly either of pulpits or of religious newspapers, since I happen to be connected with both ; but after all, my friends, all that can be said in the pulpit, and in the religious newspaper, is in- significant to that which we can show by our deeds and our lives. And that, it seems to me, Ramabai is doing. She is carrying to India the message that God is a redeeming God, not by what she is saying to her pupils, but by this : she is going as a Christian who has faith in God as a re- deeming God ; she is avowing herself a Christian who has this Christian faith in a Christian's God ; and then she is carrying out that Christianity by the life she is living, — by a life that is without pride, without vain-glory, without hope of earthly reward of any kind. She is laying down her life for her own people in her own land. You remember what John says : " Herein is love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." The best way, after all, to preach Christ is to lay down our lives for some one else ; and this is what Ramabai is doing. There has been a great deal of discussion hither and yon as to her creed, possibly as to her ritual, certainly as to her right to have family prayers in her school. But far more important than creed or ritual or church organization is a life laid down for others ; and that is what Ramabai is doing. She is laying down her life for her people ; and so she is telling the people of India what a Christian is, it seems to me, a great deal better than we could possibly do it through definitions, — a great deal better. The other day, in New York City, a poor Russian Jewess was confined. The doctor from the College Settlement at- tended her, and, when the baby was born, there were no clothes for the little one : the mother was literally without anything. So the doctor ran round to the College Settle- merit and got some little garments, all ready for such an occasion as this, and brought them back, and dressed the babe, and put it in the mother's arms. And the mother held the babe in her arms a moment, and then looked up to the doctor, and said, " What kind Jews sent me this ? " And the doctor said, " No Jews sent you these : some Christians sent them." And she opened her eyes and lay still a moment and thought, and then the tears gathered in them and, looking through the glistening tears, she said, " I didn't know that Christians could be kind." Now there was no possible way of preaching Christ to that Jewish mother like that one little deed of carrying from Christians the baby- clothes for the new-born child. It was a great deal better than a tract or a sermon. And this is what Ramabai is doing in her far-off home, and what she is permitting us to help her to do, — to tell the people of her race, not that Christians are kind only, but that God is kind, and that wherever there is sin and suffering and ignorance there God, through the children whom he has inspired with the love which he has enkindled, is brooding hope and faith and love, and inspiring self-sacrificing service in the hearts of his children. It seems to me that it is a great privilege and a great glory to be permitted to be represented in India by such a Christian heart and life as Ramabai's. I should rather speak of Ramabai and her work to a dif- ferent audience : I should rather speak to people who know it less than you do. But, after all, you certainly will not expect me to tell you about it ; for this Ramabai movement was born and cradled in Boston, and you have followed it closely, and you understand it well. I have only tried to interpret my own feeling, and so perhaps to interpret yours, in these simple words. Ramabai is doing a greater service in India than if she were preaching the gospel, because she is living the gospel; and the best way to preach it is to live it. The report of the Corresponding Secretary was then read by Miss A. P. Granger. REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY. Last year seventy-five circles were reported as auxiliary to the central Association ; and, though I have been unable to karn anything of four small Western circles, I hope the number remains the same. In the majority the interest continues unabated, while the Treasurer's report will show, as did his last, the receipt of various small sums from classes in Sunday-schools, bands of King's Daughters, etc., which shows that knowledge of the work is spreading. Mrs. Hopson, head of the Virginia Auxiliary, sends word that their annual pledge of $150 will soon be in the hands of the Treasurer, and explains with deep regret how unusual cares have delayed its collection ; while Mrs. G. N. Dana, of Boston, tells of $174 received from friends and clusters for Ramabai's Kindergarten Department. But, in spite of this continued interest in the work, the Treasurer's receipts have been about $3,000 less than those of the previous year. Annual pledges from thirteen of the circles have not been paid. In several cases we know that the local treasurers have money in hand to forward, and presume they delayed sending it in the hope that, by wait- ing, the sums might be increased. Owing to the prevalent financial depression, the Treasurer of the Association felt it wiser to omit sending out in. February the usual requests for the payment of unfulfilled pledges, which is doubtless another reason why the receipts are so small. We will hope that next year's report will contain two payments from these circles. We must never forget that the growth of Ramabai's school in India makes any reduction in the funds for its support a very serious misfortune ; also that already death 8 has removed very many who, at the outset, gave most gen- erously to the work, either individually or through circles. This has been peculiarly the case during the past year, and in the far West the frequent change of residence seems, in some cases, a hopeless obstacle to sustained interest. Will it not be possible to fill our ranks with new recruits ? Nor can we forget that the period for which support was pledged is drawing to a close. Certainly, with most of us, the interest now is not less than when first aroused by Ramabai, seven and eight years ago. Confidence in her absolute integrity and in her ability have been confirmed ; and the great work, philanthropic and educational, already accomplished by the Association through her, must be a joy and satisfaction to all her friends and supporters. Shall we be willing to drop the work when our pledge is fulfilled ? Shall we not rather, in such way as shall seem best, strive to secure to it a certain income for the future, in order that the beneficent influence of the Sharada Sadana may continue and extend as the years go on ? We will soon hear from Mrs. Andrews what Ramabai's hopes are in regard to its future support. A. P. GRANGER, Corresponding Secretary. Boston, March n, 1895. The report of the Treasurer, Mr. E. Hayward Ferry, was read and accepted. TREASURER'S REPORT For Year ending Feb. 28, 1&95. RECEIPTS. Annual subscriptions (including life member- ship fees), $3,703.28 Contributions to General Fund, 200.21 Contributions to Building Fund, . . . ... . 114.00 Scholarships, 1,000.00 $5,017.49 Interest on current accounts, $ 2 3- 2 7 Income (scholarships), 262.93 286.20 Total Receipts, $5*303-69 EXPENDITURES. Salaries and school expenses, $6,500.00 Annual meeting, March 11, 1894 (6,000 reports), 228.26 Cables, 72.57 Stationery, postage, printing, etc., 78.75 Magazines, 5.98 Rent Safe Deposit Box (one year), .... 10.00 Total Expenditures, $6,895.56 GENERAL STATEMENT, MARCH r, 1895. Life memberships (last 3 years), $1,137.00 General Fund, 9,315.11 Scholarships, $9,900.00 Income, i j°59-55 10,959.55 $21,411.66 10 Real Estate in Poona (cost $21,002.54), . . . $11,336.48 Balance (cash) : — Provident Institution for Savings, Boston, $4,325.01 Suffolk Savings Bank, Boston, .... 2,933.74 Bay State Trust Co., Boston, 2,816.43 10,075.18 $21,411.66 Total cash on hand, March 1, 1894, .... $11,667.05 March 1, 1895, .... 10,075.18 Decrease, . $1,591.87 Total Receipts of the Association, March 1, 1895: — Subscriptions, . $72,243.16 Interest, 3,250.10 $75,493.26 Total Expenditures, 65,418.08 $10,075.18 FORM OF BEQUEST. I give and bequeath to the Ramabai Association, incor- porated under the laws of Massachusetts, the sum of Dollars, to be applied, under the direc- tion of said Corporation, for the purpose of assisting in the education of child-widows in India. The receipt of the President or Treasurer shall be a sufficient discharge to my executor for the same. 1 1 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. CIRCLES. Baltimore, Berea, Ky., Y. P. S. C. E., . . Boston, Mrs. Dana's, . . . Brooklyn, Plymouth Church, Bryn Mawr College, .... California Association, . . . Camden, "King's Daughters' Steadfast Circle," .... Camden, "Willing Workers," Canandaigua, " Granger Place School, Central City, Neb., .... Chelten Hills, Chicago Cleveland, . . . . . . . Cloverdale, Cal , Cohasset, Concord, N.H., Concordville, Constantinople, American Col- lege for Girls, Delhi, N.Y., Miss Gilchrist's S. S. Class, Denver, Col., Evanston, 111., Fairmount, N.Y., S. School, . Farmington, Miss Porter's School, Franklin, Fremont, Neb., Geneva, N.Y., Germantown, First, .... " Second, . . . Gilbertsville, N.Y., .... Hartford, Honolulu, Indianapolis, (< Girls' Classical School, Ithaca, Cornell University, Seventh Year. C 3 C $100.00 195.09 174.00 100.00 43.00 37-7 5 10.00 33-oo 15900 12.50 10.00 10.00 50.00 27.00 8.80 32.00 21.00 25.00 110.00 6500 53 00 14.00 60.00 229.57 $8.25 4.26 6.00 5.00 $100 $500x0 $950.00 •8-33 18,033.99 1,375.00 3,020.00 101.00 385-50 7.I55-04 10.00 10.00 884.00 434.60 123.00 160.00 2,097.70 100.45 20.00 60.00 363.00 257-50 54.16 2.00 85.00 25.00 4.26 300.00 150-25 176.50 32375 1,235.60 475-29 488.00 1,697.75 44.40 576.00 600.00 1,991.60 12 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES. ETC.— Continued, CIRCLES. Jacksonville, 111., Jamestown, N.Y., Kansas City, Lansing, Leroy, London, Ont, Los Angeles, Louisville, " "Warren Memorial Presbyterian Society, . . . Luverne, Marengo, 111., W. C. T. U., . Mills College, Cal., Tolman Branch, Montclair, Montesano, Wash., .... Montreal, Naperville, New Haven, New Hope, Pa., New York, " " Alice Spence- Prentice Memorial," . . . New York, Mi«,s Merrill's, " Missionary Society, Church of the Strangers, Niagara Falls, Normal, 111., Northampton, Smith College, Nyack, Oakland, Cal., Ogontz, Pa., Ogontz School, Orange, Oswego, Pasadena, Cal., Pawtucket, R.I., Petaluma, Cal., Philadelphia, " Josee, .... " Manorama, . . " Sahaya, . . . Sevbnth Year. 3 J J) q 3 H $37-oo 11.00 5400 133.00 46.00 10.00 31.00 100.00 78.00 147.70 10.00 22.00 3.00 I39-50 8.00 15.00 75.00 25.00 5742 6500 20.00 67.00 4.00 $15.00 16.70 10.00 5.00 55-oo $1 $100.00 $409.75 1. 00 116.95 45.16 272.22 470.41 482.40 466.55 15.00 13.00 11.36 10.00 495.00 3.00 1,695.01 1. 00 i,537-26 72.00 1,823.13 ICO CO I05.CO 25.00 198.00 136.90 1,56775 413-50 79.90 413.21 211.25 352.00 238.79 767.20 79-25 r, 19250 75.00 2,063.50 798.00 13 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. — Continued. CIRCLES. Pine Bush, N.Y., Plainfield, N J., Plainville, Conn., Portland, Oregon, Providence, Quincy, 111., Riverside, Cal., W. C. T. U., . Roselle, N.J., Saco, Me., San Francisco, Miss Hamlin's, San Jose, Cal., Santa Barbara, Cal Santa Rosa, Cal., . . . . Sherwood, N.Y., Sioux City, Sparkill, Springfield, Mass., . . . . Stamford, ..... St. Louis, Tacoma, Wash., Toledo, Toronto, Vineland, Virginia Association, . . . Warren, 111., Sunday School, Washington, Wilmington, Del., . . . . Seventh Year. 3 J 1) 111 $11. CO 60.OO I3.OO 67.95 71.00 6.00 16.00 108.00 16.00 100 00 56.00 87.00 17.00 '40.00 64.00 27.00 ,703.28 $29 00 $200.21 $114.00 $1,000.00 $77-oo 5M-55 91-55 27 15 698.50 792.00 14.00 142.25 74.67 67 00 489.05 79-25 10.00 i,364-95 5^5-70 665.00 639.00 80106 102.00 34.00 107.00 1,994.82 10.00 850.00 4.18 877-5° 65536 $72,243.16 E. & O. E. E. HAYWARD FERRY, Treasurer Ramabai Association. 14 The following subscriptions were received after the ac- counts of the seventh year had been closed, and will be credited in the report of the current year : — New York, "Alice Spence-Prentice Memorial " Circle, $100.00 Montclair, N.J., Circle, 10.00 Hartford, Conn., " 3.00 Fremont, Neb., " 1.00 Stamford, Conn., " 1 18.31 Philadelphia, Manorama Circle, 183.0c $4i5-3i Dr. Abbott. — I am sure that we wish that we' might have Ramabai with us herself to-day. We have the next best thing to that,— a letter from Ramabai, which will now be read. The letter which follows was then read by Miss Granger : To the President, Officers, and Members of the Ramabai Association : My honored Frie?ids, — It is with sincere joy and thankful- ness that I greet you at the beginning of this seventh year of our existence as an organized institution. We have much to rejoice over, and we praise and thank our heavenly Father for what he has done for us. The past year has been one full of events, which, though they cannot all be mentioned in an open letter, have had much to do with the development of our school, and the advancement of its interests. The visit of our most esteemed friend, Mrs. Andrews, to this school, and her stay among us for over seven months, may be put down as the chief of these events. Her arrival here and residence with us have been the source of continued joy to us ; and, though parting with her was hard for us, we are sincerely glad to know that she has reached home safely and is happy with her friends. I have 15 already thanked you for sending her to India. Her tender sympathy and wise counsels were much needed by us to recover from the shock received in the year before last. She has done much to help us here, and will do inestimable good to our cause with the store of knowledge of the actual state of things, and the precious experience which she has carried with her ; and we are most grateful to her for her labor of love in our behalf. The school work here has been carried on in the past year as it had been in other years, the same rules and order of discipline being upheld in every respect. Though the last and greatest of all storms that raged against our school in 1893 did us a great deal of harm, — we have not yet re- covered from its consequences, — it is a matter of no small satisfaction that the Sharada Sadan is growing day by day, and has almost regained its old number of pupils and its prestige as a useful institution. Notwithstanding all jthe changes of place, the managements of several boards, and the yearly storms and continuous opposition it has had to face during the six years of its existence, the Sharada Sadan has, — by the mercy and help of God,- — from smallest beginning, grown to be a fairly large institution, and now aspires to attain the dignity of a high school. Still, this is not what it glories in. Its chief glory and greatest satisfac- tion are in being the means of helping and uplifting scores of our down-trodden sisters, and making them happy and hopeful. We daily thank the heavenly Father and you, our generous and sympathetic friends, for having helped us to do all that has been done in this school. We have had our trials and troubles in the past year as ever before ; but we are happy in this work which God has been pleased to give us to do, and are trying to be faithful to our calling. The question, " What will become of this school after ten years ? " has been claiming much of my thought and special care; but in this respect, too, friends among you have gener- ously come to my aid by taking steps to put the Sharada i6 Sadan on a permanent footing in providing for its future support. I praise and thank the good Father for putting it into your hearts to be so very thoughtful of our future, and am very grateful to others for their kindness in this special direction. The Sharada Sadan renders its most grateful thanks to the retired President of our Association for all his kindness and tender love which he still entertains toward it, and greets his worthy successor with joy and hopeful expecta- tion to find as much love from him as it received from his predecessor. We consider ourselves most fortunate in hav- ing two such worthy gentlemen for our Presidents. Under one of them the Sharada Sadan came into existence; and now, under the presidency of the other, it hopes to be established on a permanent footing. We, the workers and inmates of the Sharada Sadan, wish long life and continued happiness to both of our venerable Presidents, and request them to convey our best thanks and joyful greetings to all our friends, the officers and members of our Association. With sincere gratitude and all good wishes, believe me, dear friends, Faithfully yours, Ramabai. Dr. Abbott. — I wish that we might in the course of this meeting appoint a committee to extend to Ramabai the greetings of the meeting in response to this letter. We shall learn, I am sure, something more of Ramabai's work than her modesty allows her to tell us herself from the re- port of the chairman of the Executive Committee, which will be presented now by Mrs. Andrews. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. To the Members of the Ramabai Association : Poona, the beautiful city to which four years ago Pandita Ramabai removed the Sharada Sadana, is the summer cap- ital of the Bombay Presidency. The railway journey from Bombay, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, with its gradual ascent into the Western Ghauts, is one of de- lightful surprise, so changing is its scenery from the lovely to the grand, from the grand to the wild, from the wild to pictures of rare beauty that linger in the memory like fair dreams ; and over all that indescribable loveliness of sky and cloud that belongs to India alone. Situated upon a broad plateau among these hills, Poona has a purer atmosphere, a more delightful climate, than her sister city. It is therefore a favorite resort for the Bombay residents during the months of the monsoon, June, July, and August, when the mountains are uninhabitable, and the moist heat of the larger cities almost unbearable. It has a population of about one hundred and fifty thousand, one- third of whom are Brahman. Indeed, it is called the stronghold of Brahmanism. The European and native quarters are quite separate. The beautiful gardens, the handsome government buildings, the gay compounds, and picturesque bungalows of the one contrast strongly with the closely packed condition of the other. The native part is situated on the sacred river Mula, which here unites with the Muta, thus affording facilities for ablutions, purifications, and cremations. The first drive through some parts of the native portion is sufficient to make one speechless and sleepless. Narrow i8 streets crowded with bullock carts, naked boys and girls, scantily clad men, and lepers with distorted limbs, some without hands, some without feet, some minus both hands and feet, — a sickening sight. Huts or hovels crowded with human beings, by the joint family system several genera- tions living under one roof, which roof often covers but two or three rooms, sometimes but one. Hideous idols at the street corners, senseless stones marked as the dwelling- places of gods, upon which are laid the offerings of the wor- shippers. Here, there, everywhere, temples large and small, containing images of Siva, Vishnu, Durga, and others, including the disgusting monkey god. A short, beautiful walk or drive brings one to the temple-crowned hill, Pavati. A broad flight of winding steps leads to the top, from which is a charming view of the city and the country around, en- circled by the distant hills. Here is the famous temple in which the god Siva sits enthroned, represented by his image in silver, while on his knees are the golden images of his wife Pavati, and Ganesh, his son. On a festival morn- ing scores of young men from the schools and college may be seen running up the steps to give their offerings to the gods, and to the life-size image of the sacred bull within a shrine, upon whose neck are flung garlands of flowers, — flowers and other offerings at his feet. A sadder sight yet is that of young boys, too young to know the meaning of it all, being made to prostrate themselves before the beast, and cast into the enclosure their little offerings. This is but a faint picture of fhe ignorance, the super- stition, idolatry, and consequent degradation pervading India. But there is a bright side to Poona, and there are many pleasing points of interest, in one of which you are especially interested. Not far from the railway station, just out of the city, is an extensive compound with a bungalow and several buildings, one of which, a handsome two-storied stone building, has been recently erected. This compound is surrounded by a stone wall of regulation height, above 19 which is a trellis closely interwoven with luxuriant vines, to screen the inmates from the curious gaze of the passer-by. As you approach the arched gateway, the familiar name, Sharada Sadana, is seen in English and Maratha char- acters. The gate opens, and an attendant in white turban and loose flowing garment salutes you with a graceful salaam, so graceful, so dignified, that you are involuntarily inclined to return the salutation in like manner. As you enter, and walk up the broad pathway, on either side you see arches, arbors, and bowers covered with vines of honey- suckle, morning-glory, and passion-flower in full bloom. The compound is bright with blossoming trees, with thou- sands of flowering plants, and plants with many-hued leaves. The air is sweet with the fragrance of the rose, the lily, and the jasmine. The hum of soft voices, a low merry laugh, attract attention to the garden. In the paths young girls are walking with their teachers or by them- selves, talking, reading, or studying. Young girls are among the plants and flowers, weeding and pruning or looking after their own little plats. For this beautiful com- pound is not merely for the delight of the senses : it is a work yard and an education for the children. A familiar white-robed figure, with stone, plant, or blossom in hand, is the centre of a group of young girls in bright sarees, who, with glistening eyes and glowing faces, are listening to a lesson in mineralogy or botany. It is a lovely sight upon which you would fain linger ; but Rama- bai, discovering your approach, comes forward with glad- ness in her eyes and joyful words on her lips, to welcome you to her home. You enter the bungalow, and feel that it is indeed a home. On the walls of the reception-room are engravings of American scenery and photographs of American friends. The open piano, the table covered with books and pictures, stands with curios collected from vari- ous countries, chairs and sofas, give to the room an air of refinement and comfort, like that of English and American 20 homes. An inexpensive but lovely curtain of Indian work- manship separates this room from the library, from the open door of which vines and flowers are seen in rich profusion. Other rooms and other buildings were made familiar to you in the report for 1893. Thirteen months have passed since the records of that eventful year were sent to you from the Sharada Sadana, the most eventful year in the school's history, — a year in which the school was never more pros- perous, in which friends were never more friendly, and enemies more quiet. Suddenly an unexpected storm burst upon it, sweeping away friends, advisers, and one-half of the children of Ramabai's home and heart. Such a storm could not pass without leaving the school in a somewhat demoralized condition and Ramabai sick in body and sick at heart. It was in this condition that your representative found it at the close of the year 1893, and reported for the annual meeting March it, 1894. With scarcely five weeks at her command to investigate the cause of these disturbances, the cruel charges made against Ramabai, to examine records, interview teachers and pupils, parents, guardians, and com- mittee, friends and the unfriendly, it were strange indeed if no mistakes were made. But the late Advisory Board of Poona, in a recent letter, thanking you for the acknowledgments at the last annual meeting of the services they had rendered to the Sharada Sadana, take exceptions to certain statements of the report of the Executive Committee then read, as being made with- out foundation. We are very glad thus publicly to rectify mistakes, and give authority for statements called in ques- tion. In the reply of the Executive Committee to the letters of resignation from the Advisory Board the statement that a daughter of one of the members had received instruction at the Sadana was incorrect. When the mistake was discov- ered, regret was expressed, and apology made with which 21 the member then seemed perfectly satisfied. We should be sorry to do the least injustice to a gentleman who had kindly audited the accounts of the school, who for several years had free access to it and every opportunity to know whether Ramabai were true or false to her people, who had "broken bread" with her and the pupils, and within a few months of the trouble had written of Ramabai and the school in terms of unqualified praise. Therefore, we repeat that never did a daughter of his receive instruction, even for an hour, in the Sharada Sadana. Again, the statement that " the seven sages " signed a pledge to marry widows, etc., should read " pledged them- selves." I was afterwards told that the pledge was verbal, not written. It was a story often repeated, but the informa- tion may be as incorrect as that upon which the cruel charges against Ramabai were made. The authorities for the statement that at one time the Poona High School was in danger of losing the government grant were the people of Poona and the native papers of November and December, 1893, whose statements have been corroborated by a letter from Rukhmabai, who writes thus : " When the Bombay government threatened to stop the grant to the Poona High School, Sir William Wedder- burn and Sir William Hunter got up a deputation to the chief secretary of India, requesting him to continue the help from the government as before. Several Indian men and women were asked to be present. Miss V. and I were the only Indian women who attended. ... At the end Sir Will- iam Wedderburn announced that I would say a few words on the subject. I could not say much on the spur of the moment ; but what I did say was (I think) that, as Hindus are adverse to women's education, especially higher educa- tion, the government ought not to withdraw its support from the High School." It seems sufficient to say that the authority for other so-called " unfounded statements " is quite as strong and reliable as that quoted. 22 The number of pupils withdrawn from the school during and after the storm was greater than given in the report. Thirty-one were withdrawn, of whom Ramabai's register gives the following record : " Twenty-six were widows, five were non- widows; ten widows and two non-widows were placed in the Poona High School ; eight widows and one non-widow returned to the Sharada Sadana; one widow re- married ; one went to the Jamsetji Jijibhoy Hospital to be trained as a nurse ; four widows kept at home in a miser- able condition ; one went to her destruction ; one widow and two non-widows kept at home in a tolerably good condition." These records give one but a faint idea of the fierceness of the attack made upon the school, and its sad results, — an attack as undeserved as it was cruel. To again enter into its details would serve no good purpose ; but it might be well to say here that, after a thorough examination of charges and facts, after a six months' daily intercourse with Ramabai, teachers, and pupils, when the slightest deviation from the established rules could not escape notice, I can emphatically affirm that most of the charges were baseless fabrications, and the few that had at first some appearance of truth were easily explained to the satisfaction of those who listened with open ears and unprejudiced minds. Has the Sadana " ceased to be looked upon as a proper place for the education of the widows of the high-caste Hindus " ? During the months of my stay scarcely a day passed without one visitor or more to the school. Some were attracted by the notoriety the press had given to it ; their curiosity was changed into an interest. Some who had received circulars and letters of warning came to head- quarters for the truth, and were satisfied. Some wrote letters of sympathy and encouragement, expressing entire confidence in Ramabai's truthfulness and loyalty. Others returned their children or wards ; and others still said they would gladly do so, but could not because of the influence 23 exerted over some members of the family by this or that individual, giving the names. When several young orthodox Hindus, visiting the Sa- dana, saw the Vedas and Bible side by side in the school library, when they were told that sometimes one and some- times the other was read at Ramabai's private prayers, when told who were and who were not admitted to those prayers, when they saw proofs of the strict observance of caste rules by those who were strict in their observance at home, they were pleased, amused, and not very complimentary in their remarks upon those who had created such a disturbance. An educated orthodox Hindu withdrew a widowed rela- tive from the Sadana, though she had neither attended prayers nor broken caste rules. After hearing the story of Ramabai's work and the policy of the school explained, he said that, so highly did he think of the practical education of the Sadana, the girl should be returned at once if he could be assured that not the slightest indirect influence for Chris- tianity would be exerted over her. He was reminded that the same influences were there two years ago when he placed her with confidence under Ramabai's care, which confidence was not misplaced. The widow was not re- turned ; and then followed a result far worse in the eyes of the strictly orthodox members of the household, — she remarried. But the climax was reached when the husband came to the Sadana to ask if his wife could be readmitted to continue her education, while he finished his medical course. Another orthodox Hindu, applying for admission for his wife, had been warned against the Sadana and advised to place her in another school. He had examined both schools, and preferred the Sadana, and had no fear of the proselytizing influences. This man had just braved public opinion by giving a widowed sister in marriage. The wife was admitted on condition that as soon as the Sadana had again its complement of widows she should be withdrawn, 2 4 or at once, if the Executive Committee did not approve of the admission. The husband, with a low, satisfied laugh, replied : "It will take a month for your letter to reach the committee, another month for their reply to reach you. My wife will get at least two months of good schooling ! " Thus the tide began to turn. Gradually old faces reap- peared, and new faces took the places of those who re- mained absent. The fifth anniversary of the opening of the Sharada Sadana was approaching. It was decided that it should be observed as usual, though Ramabai feared she scarcely knew what. Accordingly, the usual invitations were sent out, not knowing what the response might be. On the morning of March 12th the beautiful new school building was dedicated in a quiet, reverential manner. Rev. Mr. Small, of the Free Church of Scotland, conducted the ser- vices, which were participated in by ministers of five denom- inations. The late Rev. Mr. Sorabji, in a few earnest words, deplored the misunderstandings of both Christians and Hindus concerning the policy of the school, and proph- esied a success even greater than in the past, now that the misunderstandings were being removed. Mrs. Sorabji, the founder and principal of the Victoria High School, was moved to tears when speaking of her love for Ramabai and her sympathy with her in her cruel trials, which she endured with such courage and faith. The words of all the speakers were sympathetic and cheering. The services were closed with the responsive reading of the Twenty-third Psalm and benediction. At four o'clock in the afternoon phaetons, tongas, and bullock carts began to roll into the compound. Success was no longer doubtful. Soon after the appointed hour every seat in the hall was filled, several gentlemen standing. The room was bright with flowers ; and on the wall hung a large photograph of Dr. Hale, the President of the Associa- tion, over which was draped a beautiful American flag, the gift 25 of Mrs. Ednah D. Cheney to Ramabai for the school. At Ramabai's request I took the chair as an officer of the Association. After a few words of welcome the exercises began, consisting of recitations, dialogues, and songs in Marathi and English. There was no failure, and but little prompting. Considering the crisis through which the school had passed, both Ramabai and the teachers had cause for congratulations. The girls from the oldest to the youngest were simple, modest, graceful, and perfectly un- conscious of the audience. Nor did the applause, freely given, distract their attention, though it must have been strangely novel to many of the pupils. At the close of the exercises the chairman gave a brief review of Ramabai's work, her phenomenal success in America, and the five years' history of the Sadana, emphasizing and explaining the policy of the school, neutrality and liberty. One could not desire an audience more attentive and interested. An invitation being given for brief speeches from the audience, several native gentlemen spoke warmly of Ramabai and the school. Some, though regretting that it was not conducted on strictly Hindu lines, were convinced that Ramabai had acted in good faith, and prophesied success. Dr. Atmaram Pandurang, one of the old Advisory Board of Bombay, hot as was the day, took the five hours' railway ride, to do honor to Ramabai and show his continued inter- est in her and the Sadana. His unexpected presence filled our cup of pleasure, and his kindly words made glad our hearts. At the close of the speeches the Chairman announced that ten and a half hours later, the difference between Poona and Boston time, the Ramabai Association would be holding its annual meeting, at which meeting the Sharada Sadana with all its inmates and friends would be tenderly remembered. The suggestion that a message of greeting, with the assurance that the Sharada Sadan still lived, and that its anniversary had been a great success, was greeted 26 with hearty and unanimous approval. It was sent late in the evening, and received by you at noon of the same day ! A few graceful and happy words of thanks from Ramabai closed the exercises, which, though long, wearied no one. Each person, as he or she left the hall, was sprinkled with rose-water, presented with a bouquet and betel leaf filled with spices. The speakers were adorned with garlands and wreaths of jasmine, — a favorite blossom. This closed the day and the five years' existence of the Sharada Sadan. But an unhappy episode occurred in the evening that ex- cited pity and indignation, and may well be told here to show how cruelly wives as well as widows can be treated in India without any power of obtaining redress. A young woman, a mother of several children, and the daughter of the ayah at the school, was brought to her mother so beaten and bruised that she could not stand ; blood was coming from her mouth ; she could not speak. The hus- band had tried in vain with blows and kicks to make her swallow acid in which dirty copper pice had been soaked. His last brutal resort was to thrust a rough stick into her mouth, down her throat, and then pour in the acid. She was taken to the hospital, and for several days remained in a critical condition. Ramabai was now sorely in need of recreation and rest. During five years she had taken but one vacation. The late physical and mental strain had been almost beyond human endurance. She was persuaded to take the northern trip to cities and places she had not seen since her pilgrim- ages with her parents and brother. It was a rare privilege, one worth a journey to India, to visit these places with a learned, gifted native like Ramabai, who, though a Chris- tian, is a Hindu still, loving her people with all their faults, and, with a love unutterable, giving her life for her suffering sisters. Even in the midst of her sight-seeing the cry of the poor widow, however distant, found an echo in her ten- der heart. At Benares she received a letter giving an 27 account of a deserted wife, — a condition even worse than that of widow, — and begging her to rescue the girl from the life before her. The place was hundreds of miles beyond Benares ; Ramabai's first impulse was to fly to the rescue, but prudence prevailed. She wrote for the girl to be brought to a certain station to meet us. A telegram an- swered that no one could be found to take charge of her, and ended with the word "mercy." Mr. Gadre, the clerk, who had accompanied us, was sent for her at once ; and in a week after our return she was safe in the shelter of the Sharada Sadan. Her story cannot be told here ; but, being found one day in tears and asked the cause, she replied that she now realized the fate from which she had so narrowly escaped. " One day more, and it would have been too late." Alas ! this is not an exceptional case. After our return Ramabai began to make preparations for the examination with a heavy heart. Because of the with- drawal of so many of her good scholars, she felt that the results would be far below those of last year ; but, of the forty-three examined, thirty-two were promoted. Being re- quested to examine some of the pupils in English, I was surprised and delighted with the results. The fluency, the expression and feeling with which a few read selections from English and American poets, were remarkable. The exami- nation did credit to the teachers as well as scholars. The first of May the holidays began. Some of the girls who had homes, and wished to visit them, were allowed to do so. The remainder were initiated into the mysteries of house-cleaning, renovating mattresses, renewing sheets, etc., and making pickles by the gallon. It was no holiday for Ramabai. June ioth the vacation ended, the school reopened, and the girls were delighted to return to their studies. It was then that the prostration which had kept me in India longer than was anticipated seemed almost providential. During these months of comparative leisure the information gained con- 28 cerning the social evils v of the country and the home life of the people was great and reliable ; yet more, the daily inter- course with Ramabai, the teachers and pupils, revealed much that in a brief visit could not have been learned, or, if learned, not understood. If a school of fifty girls, coming from homes of comfort and plenty, surrounded from infancy with Christian in- fluences, with tender, loving care, whose sweet memories are of a mother's kiss and a mother's prayer, — if these require the constant, patient watchfulness of a teacher, causing her many an anxious hour, what shall be said of Ramabai and her pupils ? The influences with which they have been surrounded are the influences of ignorance, superstition, and idolatry. The word " home " has had no sweet meaning for them. Hun- ger and thirst instead of plenty have been their portion, blows have been their caresses, and curses the mother's prayer. Their natures have been warped, their hearts starved, their affections repressed. Undisciplined, unloved, unhappy, they have no memories of a joyous girlhood. Such are many who seek the shelter of the Sharada Sadana. The words that involuntarily spring to one's lips in attempt- ing to chide, soothe, and guide one of these girls in her wilful moods must not be spoken, lest they be construed into proselytizing intentions. How many anxious days and nights, how many tears, they have caused Ramabai, how many midnight prayers have gone up to the Father for these her children, the Father only knoweth. But her patience is inexhaustible, her love the unselfish, unbounded love of a true mother, and her courage is indomitable. To us the task of training these girls might well seem a hopeless one ; but Ramabai looks beneath the surface, she sees the rich germ in their natures and the great possibilities before them, and she puts her whole heart into the work of up- lifting them. Day and night she is their constant compan- ion, for she occupies the dormitory with them. Sitting in 29 her room or walking in the garden, they are at her feet or by her side. And is it strange that they almost worship her ? She is opening a new world for them, — a world of beauties they had never before seen, of joys they had never before tasted, — and a new life of love, happiness, and use- fulness. There are now fifty-seven pupils in the Sharada Sadana, — forty-three widows, fourteen non-widows, — the number of widows steadily increasing, of non-widows as steadily de- creasing. Thirty-nine of the girls are Brahmans, eight Kshatriyas, ten Vaisyas, all high caste. The number of Anglo-vernac- ular standards in the school is six, to which the matricula- tion standard will be added in June. For this an experi- enced English teacher is engaged, and Ramabai hopes that another year several of the pupils will successfully pass the examination. To the higher standards Marathi and San- skrit are taught outside of the school hours. The kindergarten training class has charge of the kinder- garten children, of whom there are twenty-six, divided into three classes. The highest class is now studying the fifth gift. It was a beautiful sight when the little ones made a practical demonstration of one of their songs by literally sowing the seed in the ground. With what eagerness did they watch for the little green shoots ! and with what curios- ity did one of the little ones pull it up to see what was at the other end! Chandrabhabai, a pupil who has been in the school six years, will leave in June. She expects to open a private kindergarten school in the town in which she will reside with her husband. All the older pupils share in the household work. No outside servants are now employed except for the heavier work. The majority of these pupils, with more than ordinary intelligence, eager and quick to learn, will in time go out from the Sadan to take the places of teachers, nurses, physicians, lawyers it may be, and into homes of their own 3Q as companionable wives, intelligent mothers and thrifty- housekeepers. The highest ambition of many is to follow the example of their " dear Bai," and found other Sharada Sadanas for their unfortunate sisters. Freely as they have received, freely they have resolved to give. In their efforts they are helped by the teachers, Ramabai's faithful assist- ants, who love and honor her, and are patient and tender with her children, their sisters. Although this school has seen but six summers and winters, the influences at work within it are being felt in the community and in the country. In this quiet work Rama- bai and her loyal teachers are helping to solve the great social problems of India, in which woman is an important factor. The educated young Brahman is now seeking an educated wife, be she maiden or widow, rather than the ignorant, undisciplined girl of eight or eleven who can neither read nor write. A thousand Sharada Sadanas throughout India would be blessings to the country. Whatever may be said by Hindus visiting this country, the educated, thoughtful, honest Hindu at home, the re- former, the members of the Brahmo - Somaj, acknowledge and deplore the cruel condition of the child widow. They freely acknowledge that child marriage and child widowhood are two of the great obstacles to the progress of India, both socially and politically. A native paper just received gives the tragic story of a young high-caste widow, the daughter of a government official. A Brahman clerk, in his private employ, saw the girl, and loved her. The love was mutual, but they could not marry. They yielded to temptation ; and what followed ? One day the parents, who had been absent from home a few hours, returned to find the lifeless body of their child swinging from the roof of the house and that of the lover hanging from a tree. The editor asks who is responsible for this double death, and answers, " Of course, Hindu society, which says that a child widow shall not marry, though an old man of seventy can wreck the happiness of an innocent girl of eight." 3i Soon after the recent storm at the Sadana Ramabai was asked to take into her home a child widow in whose sad fate the writer of the letter was interested. He had ob- tained the father's consent to her going to the school, when one of the circulars of warning against it was received by the authorities of the place. The father was warned. He followed the child, who had already started, and took her back to her bitter life. On the day that Ramabai was expecting to receive her she committed suicide. Who is responsible for her death ? The histories of many of the inmates of the Sharada Sadana are of a nature that cannot be revealed to the public. If Ramabai's private records could be allowed to speak, what tales of wanton cruelty, of fearful temptations, they would reveal ! I have the stories of three girls, taken from their own lips, whose experiences as young wives as well as widows would make your heart sicken. One, mar- ried at nine, was a widow at sixteen ; one, married at five, a widow at six ; another was married when nine months old, went to her husband's home at eight years of age, and then — the curtain must drop upon what followed. The wonder of it all is that there is any moral sense left upon which to build a higher life. To look into the sad eyes of some of the pupils, to see a head branded with the hot iron, to see cheeks covered with small scars from pinchings, the young, tender hand calloused by hard work, — all this is sad enough; but it is nothing compared with the awful temptations to which they have been exposed. Mr. B. M. Malabori, a Parsee and an earnest advocate of a higher life for Indian womanhood, has travelled through India, as did Ramabai, using his influence in favor of child wives and child widows. He calls the position of woman the darkest phase of the Indian problem, and asks this pertinent question : " What can you expect of a nation whose mothers have to live in perpetual infancy ? Married in their early teens, often to become widows before they are 32 out of their teens, — can these be the mothers of heroes, patriots, and statesmen ? The marriage system of India is indeed her problem of problems, the mystery, the passion play of her daily life, stamping all her national concerns, arts, sciences, industries with its own mark of premature development, arrested growth, and early decay. A wife at ten, a widow at twelve (and in many* cases this age limit stands much lower), a mother at thirteen, — these are monstrosities in the face of which it is useless to think of a consistent, progressive public life." Repeatedly since my return have I been asked if it is true that Ramabai is now without influence in her country. Notwithstanding her loss of caste and change of faith, Ramabai is loved and honored to-day as but few women are loved and honored in that land. Were she to travel through India again, she would be most enthusiastically received. But she shrinks from notoriety, and is now seldom seen at public assemblies. Being persuaded to attend a lecture last spring, as she passed through the crowd of men to a seat near the stand, I heard, " Ramabai ! Ramabai ! " pass from lip to lip ; and then followed an en- thusiastic applause, while she was wholly unconscious of being the cause of it. Again, it is often asked if the missionaries are friendly to the school. Its methods, though very different from their own, are now understood and appreciated ; and no one more deeply deplores the false charges of proselytizing in- fluences, and no one believes more fully in Ramabai's loyalty to her people than missionaries of every denomina- tion. They may well sympathize with her, so unjust have been many charges made against them. There are mission- aries and missionaries, and my experience is somewhat limited ; but in that experience I saw no attempts to " force Christianity down the throats of the people," — a phrase that is fast losing its force. I heard no dogmas in sermon or prayer. There were no signs of self-indulgence, luxury, 33 or extravagance. There was comfort, but with it self- denial. Vacation brought the needed recreation, but with it hard and earnest work ; and but few here know the meaning of the word self-sacrifice as they know it there. They are indeed worthy of honor, sympathy, and confi- dence, worthy of a liberal support. So many of you are interested in mission work in India that it would be ungen- erous and unjust in me to withhold this testimony in their behalf, founded as it is on observation and experience. Among Christians of all denominations Ramabai has warm and loyal friends. And it is with deep regret that we record the death of one who had been a long-time friend, ready to advise or assist, and who for a year or more had audited the school accounts. Rev. Mr. Sorabji, a Parsee by birth, early became a Christian, for which he suffered almost martyrdom. Our sympathy goes out to Mrs. Sorabji and family for the loss of a devoted husband and father, and to Ramabai who has lost a true friend. Do the English take no interest in the Sharada Sadana ? In the latter part of July the school was honored with a visit from Lord Harris, governor of Bombay Presidency. He was accompanied by his first councillor, Hon. Mr. Bird- wood, Mrs. Birdwood and son. As they passed through the various rooms in the bungalow, complimentary were the comments made upon the neatness and order that pervaded them. In the school-rooms the lessons and a few recita- tions in English were listened to with pleasure. Lord Harris then made a brief speech. His words were simple and touched the hearts of the pupils. After the visit Lord Harris and Mr. Birdwood recorded their satisfaction and their warm interest in the school. In a recent letter from Mrs. Bh-dwood she writes of Ra- mabai and the school : " My own views are the results of many visits, and whenever I went to the Sharada Sadana I always found everything in good order, Ramabai and her staff working steadily and honestly and without ostentation. 34 The inmates of the home were happy and cheerful ; the discipline of the school struck me ; and one could not help feeling grateful that such an agency could have been raised through the efforts of kind friends far away for improving the lot and the future of these Hindu women. The institu- tion is of course in its infancy ; and we cannot yet say what further good it is destined to produce, but certainly good work has been done so far. Light and knowledge have been brought to many young lives which would have been dreary and untaught. A good effort of this kind cannot fail to bring forth good fruit in due time. I hope, therefore, friends in America will not lose heart or expect the institution to pay its way too soon, but continue to cast their bread on the waters, as they have done in the past, in faith and hope. I think we may hope before many years that Ramabai's own countrymen will realize the great advantage of the work she is doing in earnest, so quietly and unassumingly and in the face of constant opposition, which, however, every true cause may expect." Miss Manning, Hon. Secretary of the National Indian Association, who has long felt a warm interest in Ramabai, and has at various times sent sums of money to the treas- ury, writes a few words : " I consider Ramabai's work to be most important and valuable. She has not only roused at- tention by her work and writings to the position of Hindu widows, but she has practically shown how much can be done for such widows by kindly and patient training ; and thus she has benefited many individuals. She has set an example others may follow ; and, moreover, she has helped to meet one of the great educational wants of India by pre- paring women teachers for schools and families." The honor in which Professor Max Miiller holds Rama- bai has long been known, and will increase the interest in the letter he has so kindly written. The letter of Rev. Mr. Fox, principal of the Taylor High School in Poona, shows his intimate knowledge of the work of the Sharada Sadana. Lawyer Smith, who has practised in Poona a quarter of a century, knows whereof he speaks. Dr. Hanson, a native of Poona, who attends some of the pupils when ill, speaks from observation and experience. We 35 regret that these letters cannot be given entire, as they touch upon some of the social questions of India. The letter from Mr. Maolankar, the husband of one of the pupils, speaks eloquently for itself. We are grateful for all the kind words so opportunely sent. Ramabai's American friends like to feel in touch with her English and Hindu friends. Our thanks are also due Mr. Kanitkar, who, acting as umpire between the Association and the contractor for the new school building, saved the Association nearly 700 rupees. His testimony that the compound had doubled in value under Ramabai's management was very gratifying. To the orthodox Hindus who have appreciated the broad basis upon which the school stands, who have not been disturbed by warning circulars and letters, but have continued to believe in Ramabai's loyalty to her pledges, and have recognized her accountability to her supporters alone for the management of the school and the expenditure of its funds, we extend our cordial greet- ings and thanks. During the past year a very serious question confronted Ramabai herself, — the question of the future support of the Sharada Sadana if, at the end of the ten years, many of the circles and friends should not renew their subscriptions. After much thought and study she presented a plan to the Trustees and Executive Committee for their consideration. She proposed the purchase of a large farm, — which was then offered at a reasonable price, — stocking it with mango and other fruit trees, raising vegetables, etc. (to cover the running expenses of the farm), which, with the necessary appliances, would cost $6,000, and at the end of five or six years would yield a handsome income. Would the Asso- ciation make the necessary appropriation? The Trustees, while admiring her .clear and business-like statements, doubted the possibility of the large returns she anticipated. Moreover, they had no power to use the funds of the Asso- 36 ciation for such a purchase. Although she recognized the justice of the decision, the disappointment was keen ; but her faith did not waver. Such, however, was the confidence of some of her friends in her judgment, so strong their desire that her wish should be gratified and the experiment tried, that $3,850 were contributed at once by a few friends, and without any solicitations. Her experience before re- ceiving the cablegram of glad news is touching as told by her. She was returning one day from Bombay with a heavy heart and an intense longing for 10.000 rupees to secure the farm, when a voice from within seemed to rebuke her. Humbled, penitent, and reconciled, she was again herself in faith, hope, and courage, — a faith so great that she said to her friends : "We are to have a big farm some day. Our Father is very rich, and he is going to give it to us." In the early morning she was awakened, and a cablegram from America placed in her hand. Trembling with an unaccountable feeling of fear and hope, she first raised her heart in prayer to God that he would help her bear whatever the message might contain, then opened it, and lo ! the farm was hers ! Only $2,150 is now needed for the completion of her plan. Cannot this be raised at once, and let her feel assured of a permanent income for at least a partial sup- port of the school? It would make her heart glad. The supervision of this farm will be a rest for her physically and mentally, a change from the atmosphere in which she so constantly lives. The donors thus far have desired that the farm should belong to Ramabai. The following extracts from a letter from Mrs. Ballantine, wife of Dr. William Ballantine, of Rahouri, will be of inter- est here. She writes : — Ramabai has just spent a day with me, and I was more than ever impressed by her. Her childlike simplicity, her wisdom and good common sense, her originality, intense earnestness, and broad-mindedness were all shown in the few hours she was with us. 37 She is interested now, as you know, in stocking a farm with fruit trees, etc., the income of which is to be for the support of the Sharada when the pledge support shall cease. You would have smiled to see her pacing off our orange orchard, calculating the number of trees to the acre and number of oranges to a tree, and to hear her questions con- cerning the care of them. She took seeds from our vege- table garden, and from me a lesson in budding roses. She visited my girls' school, and talked to the Christian women, showing a great insight into their needs and their failings. Ramabai is always charitable, always sweet ; and the in- fluence of her work in Poona is felt even in this out-of-the- way little town. Maturabai is not allowed by her brother to return to the school, but I am sure the girl can never forget what she learned with Ramabai. Our beloved Ramabai needs no defender among her American friends, so strong is her position here. Yet it may be wise, just at this time, for us to affirm that she is as worthy of our love and confidence as when she first touched our shores, and entered our homes and hearts. Generous to a fault with her own money, she is just to a farthing with funds intrusted to her care. Her word is still as good as a bond. No breath of scandal has sullied her fair reputa- tion. She has remained faithful to the memory of her brief period of wedded happiness ; and, if there is a home on earth where abide the three great eternities, Faith, Hope, and Love, it is the Sharada Sadana, the happy home of the high-caste child widows of India. J. W. Andrews, Chairman. For the Executive Committee. Boston, March nth, 1895. Dr. Abbott. — In some ways, doubtless, the storm which has been referred to seemed to us discouraging ; and yet, perhaps, it has been worth more than it cost. When you have on the one hand orthodox Christians insisting that re- 38 ligious services shall be required, and on the other hand orthodox Brahmans insisting upon it that religious services shall be prohibited, it is not altogether a misfortune to have such an event occur as shall teach both the meaning of the words " religious liberty" ; to teach us all that there cannot be religion that is compelled, and that there cannot be relig- ion where there is prohibition of a spontaneous religious life, to teach us all that true religion grows only in the atmosphere of freedom. I shall take no time to introduce to you our honored speaker of this afternoon. She has already been introduced to you, as the daughter of one who was brought up in that most ancient faith, the Parsee religion, and early became a Christian at great self-sacrifice. She will, I am sure, be welcomed by us none the less because she comes from far-off India, and certainly ought not to be welcomed by us any the less because she comes as a Christian from far-away India, — Madame Sorabji-Cavalier. ADDRESS OF MADAME Z. F. SORABJI-CAVALIER. In travelling, a few months ago, in the beautiful South for the first time, I saw a flower, called the japonica, so beautiful in texture, so beautiful to the sight, that the first thought that came to me was — Ramabai ! I had never seen it before ; and it took me back again to Poona, to an afternoon when we stood side by side in her garden, and she said a few parting words to me, and we saw each other soul to soul. Once and again I have been asked in this country of yours to speak about India's women and the ideals of womanhood. "Give me," you say, "an ideal of woman- hood." You have your answer, — Ramabai. Give me an ideal of Hindu womanhood, — Ramabai. An ideal of Brahman womanhood, — Ramabai. An ideal of Christian 39 womanhood, — Ramabai. Can you ask anything more ? Test her as she has been tested, try her as she has been tried. Can temptations touch her? I have known that they cannot. I speak from no hearsay, but because I have the privilege of calling her friend. You want somebody, you say, whom you can send out to India. Your hearts go out to those poor widows, though you cannot go yourselves. You have sent one who represents the highest ideal of the people, and you have done what you could. And can you pause or can you doubt, when you think of her as she stands in that home, the picture of which was so beautifully drawn for you in Mrs. Andrews's most pathetic and touch- ing speech ? Can you not see her now as she stands there, the centre figure, with all those little children — for they are so, as well as girls growing into womanhood — around her? You know that she is good, that she is virtuous. Is she only good and virtuous, and not educated? Have you seen her or heard her ? You know, then, what true education means. Is she educated only to a certain point, and has she no business capacity ? You have just heard of some- thing that she is going to do, — not because it is needed to-day, but because she is thinking of the future. Does not that show you that her business capacity is perfect? Where, then, is any doubt ? O beloved,— let me call you so, for all women are lovely to me, — remember that it is your high privilege and honor to be able to help Ramabai, to be able to help those little widows. Can you not hear the " inasmuch " of the Master as he speaks to you to-day, and tells you not to withdraw, but to keep on ? " Your Oriental men tell us," you say, "that there are no Hindu widows." Have you ever questioned as to why you have that told you ? Have you ever tried to investigate the matter, or do you take the words of passers-by, when com- pared with the words of those who know of what they speak ? Here is one who sits among you, who has been to India, who has touched those widows, seen for herself the 40 marks of the pinches that have been given, seen the hurt limbs. Can you doubt her as she stands before you, and tells you that it is so ? I come from that country. Pitiful and sad are the tales that I could tell you, women of America. Have you children growing up ? What would you say if your little child of eight were to come to you bleeding and torn ? Would your heart not ache ? Would you not say, " Let me put my arms around you, and shield you from the blows and terrible words " ? And will you not do it now ? Every word that has been told you is a fact. There are thousands and thousands of these poor children who sutler ; and, as you were told, if there were ten thou- sand such Sharada Sadanas, it would not be one too many to rescue those who are suffering. In the hospital in Bom- bay where I was, children from eight to twelve would come up the steps, weak, bleeding, and torn, asking for refuge, — "Put us anywhere, take us away quickly: we are followed." By whom? A mother-in-law, a brother-in-law, somebody wanting to drag them back again to that terrible suffering. Will you not put forth your hand for them ? Ah, beloved, the opportunity may slip by ! She is with you now. See that cares do not break her down. She does not do this work for praise or notoriety : she has had little of this. She goes into the silent and high places to get wisdom from above to carry out her work. Do you love her ? Love her now. Do you feel that you have some one you can trust ? Trust her now. Will you do it when she has passed away ? God grant that she may live many years to come. Help her to live. "Feed my lambs," says the Christ. The lambs are ready. Let it be your privilege to feed them. And, believe me, no one can be found more fitted for the work than beautiful Ramabai. Standing one day near her, I heard an English gentleman paying her a compliment. She did not hear him at first ; and, thinking that he was saying something that was neces- sary for her to listen to, she listened again through her 41 trumpet. He repeated the compliment ; but a pained look came upon her face, and she turned away, not deigning to answer or look at him again. I thought then, " No spot can touch Ramabai, nothing can hurt her ; for she has God by her side." I have seen her in joy and sorrow. I have seen her in trouble and in pain. Again and again has gone the same thought from my heart, and the same prayer, — " Lord, let me be more and more like that beautiful soul ! " For it is only when we live the life that we can influence those around us. Just as the odor goes from a rose all over the room, so the influence of a good woman is felt by those who are around her. I have heard Brahmans and Parsees, I have heard Mahometans and the lower class of Hindus, speak about Ramabai. I have been in the native courts, and there has the name of Ramabai been honored. So, beloved, you do well when you look upon her not only as a coworker, but a friend and a sister. And will you not join Avith me when I say in conclusion, God bless Ramabai ? Dr. Abbott. — I can assure Madame Cavalier, on your behalf, that we all thank her very much for these words which she has spoken to us of inspiration from across the sea. A Nominating Committee was then appointed to report a list of officers for the next year, consisting of Miss Martha D. Adams, Mrs. G. B. Barrows, and Mrs. T. B. Froth ingh am. Mrs. Andrews read letters from India and England. LETTERS. 7 Norham Gardens, Oxford, Jan. 27, 1895. Dear Madam, — I am not allowed to write much just now, other- wise I should have a great deal to say about our friend Ramabai. What I feared when she became a Christian, has happened : she has impaired her power of doing useful work among her country- men. Her native friends do not quite trust her, her European friends do not always remember what they owe to her. I feel so convinced of Ramabai's loyalty that I cannot believe that she ever used her position for proselytizing purposes, after having promised she would not do so. But how can she help that in- direct and silent influence which told on herself while she was with the Sisters at Wantage, and made her crave for sympathy from those who had shown her so much kindness? In all essen- tials she had been a Christian even while she was still a Brahman; and, when she openly professed herself a Christian, it was because she felt the necessity of belonging to some com- munion, to be one with her friends. I can quite understand therefore that some of the poor child widows to whom she has been like a sister and a mother should feel a desire to be' what she is, should try to be as good to others as she has been to them. What has become of the toleration of which the Hindus used to be so proud, which, even in the days of the Upanishads, formed the glory of the true Bramanas ? What has become of the freedom of thought, if freedom to choose one's own religion is to be no longer allowed in India, the home of the Vedanta philosophy? If the Hindus are not afraid of the weapons of argument used by European missionaries, are they afraid of the power of goodness wielded by Ramabai and her friends ? I did not persuade Ra- mabai to become a Christian, because I knew she was a Christian in heart, which is far better than a Christian by profession. And 43 I feel quite certain, if Ramabai can only make good women out of the poor widows whom she receives in her home, she will feel that she has done her duty. The work she does is the work of humanity, and not of any special religion. If the believers in Vishnu, Siva, and Krishna, if the knowers of Brahmas (brahma- vidas), are afraid of the power of goodness as wielded by a weak woman, they have thrown away their arms and given up the fight. I think better of them. I trust in their ancient spirit of tolera- tion, I trust in their chivalry ; and I hope that Ramabai's friends in India will stand by her with the same steadfastness as her faithful supporters in America and England. Yours sincerely, F. Max Muller. Poona, Jan. 25, 1895. My dear Madam, — It was my misfortune not to have been introduced to you when you had been in India during the last year. But, unacquainted though I am, you will kindly allow me to address to you the following few lines, since they convey to you my humble opinion about the noble work that Sharada Sadan is doing in the Deccan, on account of the ever-increasing zeal and untiring efforts of — you will allow me to say — your almost adopted daughter, Pandita Ramabai, who manages that institu- tion. My wife has been a student in Sharada Sadan for more than a year and a half. You have seen her there, and possibly re- member her, too. She had been there before the late clouds that hung over that institution, and continues to be there till now ; but never during this period saw I or my wife any change in the conduct of the Pandita, or in her way of managing and conducting that school, — a change calculated to produce any dissatisfaction among the public. She is carrying on the work of managing the institution on the very same lines which she has once marked out for her ; and as long as such a magnanimous and kind-hearted lady as the Pandita is the head of that institu- tion, the well-wishers of this home for our unfortunate widows shall have no cause to fear lest anything would go wrong in its 44 management, or that this Western charity would in any way be misused. Our Ramabai — I am proud to call her ours — has quite satis- factorily shown to her native and Christian brethren here and in America that she is in every way fitted to the arduous task that she has undertaken by the fact of her having stood successfully the several trials through which she had to go since the foundation of Sharada Sadan. Some of us were afraid lest the late melan- choly event of the resignation of the Advisory Board would retard the rapid progress the Sadan was making; and our fears were not quite without a ground, since there was a great and sud- den fall in the number of students at that time. But I am ex- tremely glad to observe that the number is now every month increasing, and the people have again begun to appreciate the great boon which this Western charity has offered to their un- fortunate widows. . . . With kind regards, I remain, Yours ever sincerely, K. B. Maolanker. Poona, India, Jan. 25, 1895. My dear Mrs. Andrews, — . . . You will be glad to hear of the steady progress made in the Sharada Sadan. Pundita Ramabai continues to be the same tender, loving, watchful, and wise mother of the home. She is specially endowed by God for this peculiar position. It is evident to us all that God is with her, and his blessing attends all in her home. All the women with the little ones continue to make steady progress in their studies and vari- ous duties. The development of that true womanly modesty and confidence among the women which will fit them for a useful life among their people is most encouraging. Pundita Ramabai seeks to impart to them right ideas of woman's position and work, and she is succeeding. You will remember the good will and confidence expressed by several native gentlemen both of Poona and Bombay at the open- ing of the school-rooms in 1893, at which you did the institution the honor to preside. This confidence continues, and is growing. 45 She enjoys the fullest confidence and sympathy of the European community of all classes, without exception. The Association at home, which is so generously providing the money to open and carry on this good work, may be assured that their efforts are bringing a great blessing to the women of India, and will cer- tainly return to them a rich reward. Believe me, Yours sincerely, D. O. Fox, Pastor Methodist Episcopal Church, Poona. All who have given the subject a thought must admit that the work so nobly initiated by Pundita Ramabai will in its subse- quent developments be one of the chief means of regenerating India. To the ordinary observer the years of missionary effort, the hecatombs of missionary lives, and the mints of money that have fallen to India's share have been productive of but small results. Today, however, proves the contrary true. Solid foundations have been laid for glorious structures, among which the Shar- ada Sadan is one of the chief. The child of to-day is the man of the future. The mother is the chief instructor of his budding intelligence. Hence all that tends to emancipate women from the thraldom of ignorance must prove for the highest and best interests of India. I have had frequent opportunities of visiting native homes and the Sharada Sadana, and the difference between the pictures of the widow in the one and in the other is marked and striking. Con- trast that shrinking figure with shaven pate and bowed and averted head, meanly clad, settled despair in her heart, her name the synonyme of everything vile, herself a curse in her Hindu home, with the bright, cheerful, and joyous aspect of the inmate of the Sharada Sadan, — buoyant with hope and life's fair prospect, — and say, "What have the Pundita and her helpers not done for the women of India? " Yet this is but an initiatory effort. The Sharada Sadana is in its budding state ; and may God, in his in- finite mercy and wisdom, shelter it from all storms, fan it with 4 6 genial breezes, and send the gracious showers it so sadly needs, that it may blossom and grow into a glorious fruition, — a bless- ing of great magnitude to India ! Verily, all concerned in this grand and blessed movement will have their reward. G. S. Hanson, M.D. It goes without saying that the heart of a nation is its home, and the centre of home is woman. If the women are ignorant, bigoted, superstitious, the nation is not better. However small, theoretically, the influence of women in India may be, practically it is immense. All the early and impression- able years of the coming man's life are passed in her society, and subject to her influence. As a river can rise no higher than its source, neither can the men of the future be other than their mothers have made them. The necessity of elevating the women in order to elevate the nation being admitted, the question remains, "How?" Every one has heard of the secluded lives of the Purdah women ; but there are hundreds of thousands of women who are to be seen in town and village of all castes, Brahmin as well as Shudra, as un- approachable by men as though surrounded by the walls of a zenana. After twenty-five years' experience as a lawyer and con- siderable familiarity with the people I believe it impossible for men to reach and teach the women of India. However, what man cannot do, woman can. To women the women of India offer an immense field of virgin soil for their sowing, and an abundant harvest for India's reaping not many days hence. What India needs is an army of women teachers. Of course, they must come from abroad first ; but supremely blest is that agency which, laying hold on the daughters of India, blesses them and makes them a blessing by qualifying them and inspiring them with the obligation of reaching and elevating, by precept and example, their sisters, dwelling under a shadow of great darkness. Now, in housing and teaching widows, as the Ramabai Asso- ciation does, not only are these individual girls elevated, but 47 they become elevating influences which cannot but accomplish great good. No one can visit this delightful home and see the bright and happy faces, contrasting it with what they know must have been the lot of many of its inmates, but his heart must swell with gratitude to the good people of America who have made the institution possible. When I think that this work was devised by a Brahmin lady brought up with all the limitations of Indian society, I am amazed. True, all are not Ramabais; but, if this elect lady com- municates a hundredth part of her usefulness to her charges, she will, through God's grace, be instrumental in working a far reach- ing and ennobling work for India. Sydenham Smith. Poona, Jan. 30, 1895. The report of the Nominating Committee was presented, and was accepted. It was unanimously voted that the Secretary should cast one vote for the officers as nominated. Mrs. Andrews moved that the thanks of the Association to Dr. Hale for his five years' service as President be placed upon the records, and also its congratulations that, in losing Dr. Hale, it gains Dr. Abbott as President. The motion was unanimously adopted. The thanks of the Association were also voted to Madame Cavalier for her interesting address. On motion the Association then adjourned.